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Buttler to miss next Test against India

Buttler to miss next Test against India
Jos Buttler (batting) will miss the next Test match against India. (FILE)

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Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will miss the fourth cricket Test against India starting on Thursday because his wife is expecting their second child.

Jonny Bairstow, who played as a specialist batsman in the first three Tests, will deputise at the Kia Oval.

All-rounder Chris Woakes returns to a 15-man squad after a heel injury.

Pace bowler Mark Wood has recovered from the shoulder problem that kept him out of the innings-and-76-run win in the third Test.

Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood, part of the squad at Emerald Headingley but overlooked for the final XI, is left out to accommodate Wood’s return.

Sam Billings, who has 25 one-day and 32 Twenty20 caps for England but never played a Test, will provide wicketkeeping cover for Bairstow.

The five-match series is level at 1-1.

Bairstow, 31, has kept wicket in 48 of his 77 Tests, but not since the final Ashes Test of 2019. Buttler, Ben Foakes, James Bracey and Ollie Pope have kept for England since then.

Bairstow averages 37.85 with the bat in Tests as a keeper, and 27.41 when he plays as a specialist batsman.

However, he has only just regained a settled spot batting at number five after two years in and out of the side and being moved up and down the order.

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings (wk), Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.